Writing yet again about Grigory Sokolov was not in my plans at all, but having listened again to his recording on Opus 111 (OPS 30-83) of the Chopin Piano Sonata Number 2, opus 35 (from a live concert recording on 13 June, 1985) and the Etudes open 24 numbers 1 through 12 (also from a concert recording on 10 November 1992) I cannot help but comment on his playing. The Sonata is thoughtfully played. It is not the most passionately conceived on but it is certainly the most logically thought out performance. While Martha Argerich‘s performance of this work is arguably more passionate, there is no reason to prefer one over the other. The novice collector could not go wrong in choosing either one and the more experienced collector should have both!

However, the tour de force on this recording are the 12 Etudes from opus 25. Although these were written at the same time, they were not conceived as a as a single work. They are technical studies, albeit wonderfully musical ones. Yet Sokolov manages to bring a singularity of conception to them which runs in a continuous thread from the first to the last. I is quite remarkable playing and well worth spending the money to own this recording.

How wonderful to have actual notes in the jacket that make sense. Although it is obvious that they are rather clumsily translated from another language, they do make some salient points about the music and explain the context in which they were written.



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